House of Commons Library

Scotland Bill: latest developments

Published Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Scottish Parliament’s Scotland Bill Committee has recommended that consent for this legislation should be withheld unless significant changes are made to the Bill. This note traces developments since the Bill’s committee stage in the Commons, including amendments made on report, second reading in the Lords, the Scottish Government’s position, and the report of the Committee.

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The Scotland Bill 2010-12 had its third reading in the House of Commons on 21 June 2011, and is now in the Lords, where its committee stage is due to begin on 26 January 2012. It is subject to the Sewel Convention, whereby the UK Government seeks consent from the Scottish Parliament before legislating on devolved matters. A committee of the last Scottish Parliament considered the Bill, and a legislative consent motion was then passed. This recommended changes to the Bill, and called for a new consent motion after any amendments. Changes were made on Report in the Commons, and, after the elections to the Scottish Parliament in May 2011, a new committee was established to consider the Bill. This has now reported, and has recommended that no further legislative consent should be given unless further changes are made.

This note discusses the Committee’s report, and sets it in the context of the positions of the UK and Scottish Governments.

Other briefs on the Scotland Bill and related issues are:

Scotland Bill (HL Bill 79 of 2010-12), House of Lords Library Note 2011/23, July 2011

Devolution of tax powers to the Scottish Parliament, House of Commons Library Standard Note 5984, 2 November 2011

Scotland Bill: Committee Stage Report, House of Commons Research Paper 11/49, 14 June 2011

Scotland Bill [Bill No 115 of 2010-11], House of Commons Research Paper 11/06, 18 January 2011

Commons Briefing papers SN06185

Author: Paul Bowers

Topics: Devolution, Scottish Parliament

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